Saturday, July 29, 2017 11:57

How to Save Money Hiring a Lawyer–Part 1

How to Save Money Hiring a Lawyer.  In this first post, I will talk about what often goes into the formula of how an attorney’s fee is set.  In a follow-up post, I will discuss simple tips you can use to help save money with your attorney.

“How much does it cost to hire a lawyer?” “How much will this cost?”  These questions usually come up right after “will I go to jail” or “what do you think my chances are of winning this case.”  While I will save jail and winning for other posts, I want to explain a little behind lawyer fees.  Knowing  what goes into the fee may help save you money.

I have many friends from out of state who have asked me about how much they should pay for an attorney.  My usual response: “it depends.”

I then go on to explain that an attorney’s fee is based on many factors, including:

  • Location (for example, on average a New York City attorney will cost more than a small town attorney)
  • Type of Services (complex commercial or securities litigation is likely going to cost more than a small eviction matter)
  • Experience
  • Competition
  • Overhead (elaborate offices, large staff, etc.)
  • Other

Understanding these factors usually makes my friend feel better about whatever situation they are in and also helps them understand that price is not everything.  Usually people say they want an affordable attorney—but what (really) does affordable mean.  Attorney Brian Tannebaum has a great post that, while focused on criminal defense attorneys, can apply across the board.  You can find the post HERE.

Some people will call around or try to meet with as many attorneys as possible to find the lowest price. While this strategy may be a good one for a car, it doesn’t always work for an attorney. Like many things in life, the most expensive isn’t always the best and of course, the converse is true as well. Sometimes you may want the most experienced attorney in the largest firm with the nicest offices, but you will likely have to pay much more than the local, small firm attorney with low-overhead.  For a complex, multi-national commercial litigation case the former type of attorney might make the most sense, but for a small contract dispute you may quickly spend more on your attorney than the amount over which you are fighting.

The best way to save money on the front-end is to make sure you find the attorney that best fits your specific needs.  This doesn’t mean the cheapest, it means making sure:

  • your attorney can provide what you need without unnecessary excess (e.g. you can hire can hire “Perry Mason” to defend your traffic ticket, but is the extra cost of Perry needed for that matter)
  • you are comfortable with your attorney (i.e. comfort can help communication which can create more focused, effective, and efficient representation)
  • you aren’t pressured to hire the attorney. (i.e. don’t feel pressured to go with the first lawyer you speak with, you always have the right to go seek out other options and counsel)

If you need a second opinion regarding a legal matter or you have not yet contacted another lawyer and would like a free initial consultation about  your situation, please contact The Gordon Law Firm in Oldsmar, Florida.  The Gordon Law Firm serves all of Pinellas County including Clearwater and St. Petersburg, Pasco County, Tampa, and the entire Tampa Bay area.  

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